As some 100 American citizens are still waiting to leave Afghanistan, the State Department said Monday that the biggest hurdle to their evacuation remains the “unpredictability” of the Taliban.
“The biggest constraint to the departure of our citizens and others from Afghanistan, of course, remains the Taliban’s unpredictability, regarding who is permitted to depart,” a senior State Department official told reporters during a background briefing Monday.
“The second big constraint is the absence of regular commercial air service to enable folks who wish to depart to do so in a predictable manner,” they added.
The official estimated that roughly 100 American citizens and permanent residents are “ready to go” currently.
The State Department said its officials are in “regular communication” with private groups chartering their own evacuation flights from the country, and also in communication with the Taliban consistently working to negotiate the safe departure of Americans.
Roughly 124,000 people were flown out of Afghanistan after the U.S. announced its military departure and the Taliban took control of the capital in late August.
Since all U.S. forces officially departed on August 31, the State Department says 85 Americans have been able to leave the country.
State Department Correspondent Nike Ching contributed to this report.